19 - File Dialog


The iToolBox File Manager Dialog

iToolBox offers a custom file dialog that is better at handling files in some ways than the native file dialog.

The advantages of the custom file dialog include:

  • The custom dialog is much faster than the native OS X (MacOS) file dialog
  • Hiding (not just "dimming") files you don't need to see with the Filter control
  • Listing folders and volumes separately from files so they don't clog up the file list
  • The ability to enter paths and filenames from the keyboard
  • The ability to define single-click custom locations (assigns) in the filesystem
  • The ability to easily navigate the entire filesystem, including the LAN

19.0.1 - Parent

<-- Parent takes you one step back up the folder tree in the filesystem. You can go all the way to the root of the filesystem this way.

Note: If the current path ends with a /, then the first press of <-- Parent simply removes the /

19.0.2 - Refresh

If you know (or surmise) that the filesystem has changed — new files, fewer files, new or removed folders and/or volumes — then you can press Refresh and the dialog will refresh with the current state of the filesystem.

19.0.3 - Assigns

Assigns allows you to create virtual filesystem roots that will appear in the volumes list. This provides a means to set working folders you can get to instantly:


The assigns dialog

An assign consists of two pieces of information. First, a "short name" that will appear in the volumes list in the File dialog, and second, a path that is associated with that short name. So, for instance, you can create a path to your Pictures folder at /Users/John Doe/Pictures with a short name of pics:

When you click on pics: in your volume list, the File dialog immediately loads up the folders and files at /Users/John Doe/Pictures — that's all there is to it. It's a significant timesaver.

You can either add a new assign, or remove / update existing assigns. If you cancel the dialog, all of your changes are discarded. If you click okay in the assigns dialog, but then cancel the File dialog, your changes are not discarded.

When the assigns dialog opens, the path is set to the filesystem location the File dialog was looking at. So all you have to do to make that an assign is enter a short name for that path and click Add

Assigns have priority over volumes in the volume list; assigns appear first.

The assigns feature incorporates the following intuitive behaviors:

  • Clicking on an existing assign loads the short name and path into the text boxes
  • If there is no short name provided, you can't add, update or remove
  • If there is no path provided, you can't add, update or remove
  • If the short name does not match any existing one, you can't remove
  • If the path is the same as the existing one for an existing shortname, you can't update
  • If the shortname is the same as an existing one, you can't add
  • Assign short names always have a trailing : character. If you don't provide it, it will be added

19.0.4 - Volumes List

The volumes list contains a list of volumes (and assigns, if you have created any.) The volumes list is refreshed each time the dialog opens, or when you click Refresh, so you can avoid filesystem hiding newly created files from you.

19.0.5 - Folders List

The folders list contains a list of only folders. This makes navigation much faster and easier than a mixed files + folders approach as used in the native file dialog. The folders list is refreshed each time the File dialog opens, or when you click Refresh, so you can avoid filesystem hiding newly created files from you.

19.0.6 - Files List

The files list contains a list of only files.

This is the first of two features that makes navigation much faster and easier than a mixed files + folders approach as used in the OS X (MacOS) native file dialog. The files list is refreshed each time the dialog opens, or when you click Refresh, so you can avoid filesystem hiding newly created files from you.

The second feature that makes finding your files much easier is the ability to hide files using the Filter control; typing *.png into the Filter box will cause the File dialog to display only files that end with .png, which can reduce clutter and confusion as opposed to simply "dimming" files that don't match the filter as the native OS X (MacOS) dialog does.

19.0.7 - Filename

This is where you can type in a new filename when you are saving an image, or if you already know the filename, you can just type it in here instead of picking it from the list.

19.0.8 - Path

This is where you can type in a path if you already know it. It will change automatically as you navigate the filesystem folder tree using the Folders list.

19.0.9 - Filter

You can use an asterisk ( * ) as a wildcard here. So typing *test* will display all files that have the string "test" in them. To list all files of one type, use, for example, *.png

19.0.10 - Always Confirm Overwrites

 Always confirm overwrites tells the File dialog that if you elect to save a file over an already existing file, you will be warned about it.

19.0.11 - Enforce Filter File Extensions

 Enforce Filter file extensions tells the File dialog that when you are writing out a file, that it must end with the extension in the Filter box. For instance, if you have *.png in the Filter box, and you try to save a file called foo, it will actually be saved as foo.png

19.0.12 - Reverse Folders

 Reverse Folders reverses the alphabetical order of the folder list.

19.0.13 - Reverse Files

 Reverse Files reverses the order of the file list, regardless of how it is sorted.

19.0.14 - File List Sorting

bulletsel.png By Name  imposes an alphabetic sort, case-sensitive.

bulletsel.png By Name (ignore caps)  imposes an alphabetic sort, not case-sensitive.

bulletsel.png by Date  imposes a sort by the file date.

Tip: If you prefer, you can use the native file dialog instead by selecting  Use Native File Dialog in the Preferences dialog:

Standard OS X (MacOS) file dialog
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